So just over one week since my last post...that's a win in my book!
A friend linked me the latest update to ChatGPT, an AI based resource using OpenAI. I have casually been observing developments in Image generation AI such as DALL-E, Midjourney and Stable diffusion. I have mixed thoughts on these but do feel that the tech isn't really the problem but the society that we currently live in not being ready to deal with it.
AI is going to replace jobs. People are going to take credit for the finished work even though all they did was write a prompt. As much as I understand that there is an art to wording a prompt, I'm afraid learning and practicing how to paint/draw/create to the same level is not the same as learning how to write a good text prompt. There are of course many negative elements to AI being as good as humans at much faster speeds in a society that runs on money. That said, the positives include being able to create more, faster, as a creator. Ideas can become real with fewer resources. And if there is enough thought behind the purpose, then it can also be a great thing!
I haven't really been following other forms of AI generation even though I know they are there and improving at exponential speeds, so I thought I'd give it a go. I put the following question in to see how it would handle it.
'How do we fix the divide between traditional systems in society and the rise in technology?
The divide between traditional systems in society and the rise of technology is a complex issue with no easy solution. One approach to addressing this issue is to focus on improving education and access to technology, particularly in underserved communities. This can help ensure that everyone has the skills and resources they need to participate fully in the modern economy. In addition, it may be helpful to consider ways to integrate technology more seamlessly into traditional systems, such as by modernizing government services and making them more accessible online. Finally, it's important to address the social and economic disparities that can exacerbate the divide between technology haves and have-nots. This could include policies to support workers who are affected by technological change, such as through job training programs and income support.'
This is a pretty solid answer in my opinion, especially in that it came up with this in about 2 seconds. I could also say that there are plenty of humans that probably couldn't give as succinct and credible an answer. But one thing to note is that this is the beginning of AI based output. We are only starting, and it can only get better from here. Not only that, but these processes can be basically applied to any output. So, we've started with art and text (and no doubt others that are less mainstream). The same website as this one has coding response with different languages, that actually explains the results (haven't tested this yet though). marketing material, textbooks, any 'content' could use AI to process from very few inputs in record time. If you think we have too much content to go through now, well...I have some news for you. And as cool as all this is to enable us to make content quickly and easily, we are not ready for this.
I've been thinking for a while now that our biology and culture is significantly slower than the technology we now have access to. Governments and organisations are still struggling with the internet and smart phones. I doubt they have even considered the ramifications of what AI and robotics are going to do to us as a people with no one trying to understand the long term, and even short term, effects that these technologies are going to have. And we all know how great social media has worked for us...or more the point, how it hasn't.
All of these technologies could be good. Even the algorithm could be revamped to shape how we think in a happier, healthier manner...but there's no money in that. Which is a point for another day.
I think the only thought I have in how to navigate this space better is when the kids raised with Facebook and smartphones will have a better understanding of the information age and be able to adjust more efficiently. As Facebook was released 18 years ago and the first iPhone was 15 years ago, they aren't even adults yet...let alone in positions of offering solutions to cultural change. The kids are indeed our future, but they are going to have such a disadvantage when they get there that they might not be able to do much.
And all this comes down to the key point here. How do we deal with this? Our world is tearing ahead of us and none of us know how to navigate it, nor have the power to offer a better way to do so. Even the most powerful people in the world are at the whims of our humanity. They too are very human themselves. They are as susceptible to our somewhat primitive nature in comparison to where AI, robotics, and quantum physics are going to take us just to name a few. The layers of complexity in our society now, with the numbers of people that we have (passing 8 billion in the last couple of weeks actually), is difficult to comprehend. And if we can't comprehend it, how do we steer it in a better direction.
Education and parenting, I will say this for all time, is the only way we are going to shape any of this. Current generations are too set in their ways, and view the world with limited views. This isn't their fault generally speaking, just the world they were raised in. The only way we are going to get a leg up on any of this is if we give the resources needed to create happy, healthy kids with the mental ability to deal with the world we are giving them, and more importantly act on it...but our education systems (in most countries I would say) are poorly resourced to say the least, and how are parents meant to do their best when many are working 9-6 jobs (or more).
That said I'm sure there are some who are trying...but how does one search for communities that are trying to improve the world on that level of scope, when the fact is it's a basically impossible task. A note that came up in a Vlog Brothers video (paraphrased somewhat) was that we are a tribal people living in a global community. Our brains are scientifically limited to connecting with about 150 people...which is a somewhat smaller amount than the millions we have access to through the internet, and the 7,999,999,850 others that we could interact with. We aren't able to comprehend the scope that is out society.
I honestly don't know the answer to this or at least act on the potential solutions I offer, for exactly the reasons I'm asking...it's too big for one person, or 1,000, or even 8 billion to grasp. But I am coming to the mindset that balancing the negative with the positive (cos there is still a lot of good in the world), doing what we can for those that we love, and then some if we have the bandwidth to do so, is probably the best we have for the moment.
I get frustrated with myself when I can 'see' many aspects of things we could be doing better, but then not doing any of them myself due to lack of resources, indecision based on so many things that need to be done, or perhaps lack of faith in my own value and potential. I am trying to work on this, and have ideas that I would like to pursue, but the day to day of my life makes it difficult to actualise any of these things as a sole person with a distrust in working with others (from previous experience) on personal projects. I need to get past the 'thinking too much' stage and start 'doing the thing'...but it's a process. And I think the process is what life actually is.
Until transhumanism kicks in and we just plug directly into the universe. I'm sure I'll have a different post for that day :)
In other news, I'd recommend a TV show I've been watching called The Peripheral. It is unfortunately quite depressing in some ways showing how we might end up in the future and it is making a little too much sense. But the ideas in the show are honestly great and therefore recommended viewing. If anything, it might offer us a glimpse into our future and therefore maybe what to avoid if we are even slightly more willing to fight for it, rather than just accept it.